No one wants bad things to happen to them or their family. But of course, in this increasingly dangerous world of floods, wildfires, tornadoes and insurgency, one must hope for the best, yet plan for the worst. Family disaster planning is essential. In cases of emergency, it may just save your family. It helps each family member know what to do and where to be should the unexpected happen. Here are a few tips to help your family plan for a disaster.
- Convene a meeting:
The first step in family disaster planning is holding a family meeting where the importance of having a disaster plan is addressed. This meeting helps get the modalities of the plan on the table and the whole family on board.
- Acquire first aid supplies and skills:
Giving the dangerous nature of the world we live in, the ability to administer first aid should be a skill at the back pocket of every responsible person. A family disaster plan should involve training each member of the family on what to do in different probable emergency circumstances which may arise in the future as this can save lives. First aid kits are also just as important as these are the first point of call in tending to injuries.
- Designate a place to meet after a disaster and a family contact:
Having at least 2 Disaster meeting places ensure that your family is not unnecessarily worried about each other’s whereabouts as you all know where you ought to be. Having a family contact that your family ought to check in with in case of a disaster in your locality is another way to ensure that in the face of a disaster, your family is not displaced.
A Go-bag is a bag that contains all the items you need to survive a disaster. Each family member should have his. The bag should contain only the most indispensable items such as a copy of your credentials, non-perishable food high in calories like chocolate bars, water, a change of clothing, essential medication like inhalers if you are asthmatic, toiletries, sanitary pads (where applicable), and flashlight. This bag ensures that when disaster strikes, you are ready as all you need to do is pick it up and run.
After coming up with different plans for different disaster scenarios, perfect your plan by practicing. Practice as often as possible- at least every 6 months. Ensure that your disaster plan is practicable, that is, the disaster you have rehearsed for is common to your community. If for example, fire is a common hazard, fire prevention and extinguishing techniques should be part of your disaster planning.
- Prioritize life:
In all the decisions you make during your family disaster planning meetings with your family, reiterate the need to prioritize life. Ensure that your family understands that whenever it comes down to the risk of loss of their life over the chance of rescuing any possession, their life should always come first.